Big Bend

Why is Texas launching its own stock exchange?

Finance titans BlackRock and Citadel Securities are teaming with investors to raise $120 million to open the Texas Stock Exchange. The group still has some regulatory hurdles to clear before opening but plans to start listing stocks for sale as early as 2026.
On its fourth try, SpaceX achieved a breakthrough for its Starship rocket with a successful return to earth. But not all those gathered to witness the event from Boca Chica got what they were hoping for. The Standard’s Kristen Cabrera reports.
As more tourists flock to the remote West Texas town of Terlingua, bringing money and development, some locals are concerned the town’s running dry.
And: In the Big Bend-area town of Alpine, recovery efforts are underway after a fire destroyed a historic building in a central part of town.

From small startups to fossil fuel giants, Texans are rethinking the future of energy

What’s the connection between credit card fees and Texas? It’s a question at the heart of a case that could affect consumers nationwide.
In Texas’ energy mix, gas and oil are giving way to more and more alternate sources: think wind, solar and small-scale nuclear – and many of the projects are run by veterans of the fossil fuel industry.
Corpus Christi is making plans to deal with a lack of drinking water, but some locals are pushing back against one potential solution.
Also: North Texas is making plans to host World Cup games, but they’re racing against the clock.

Exploring the difficulties of rural reproductive care in West Texas

Texas leads the nation in executions again, and Harris County sentences more people to die than any other county in the U.S. A new report examines dozens of death penalty cases there.

A new podcast from Marfa Public Radio looks at the challenge of accessing reproductive care in the Big Bend region.

The season started out with great expectations, but now the San Antonio Spurs have lost a record 18 games in a row. What’s gone wrong, and can it be fixed?

Plus, the week in politics with the Texas Tribune’s Ayan Mittra.

How this man survived in the West Texas desert for 27 hours

What does Congress’ budget deal to avert a partial government shutdown mean for food and the farmers and ranchers who produce it? We’ll hear more on the Farm Bill extension, and the implications for Texas.

The push for police accountability: An investigative report from the Austin American-Statesman reveals that police indictments rarely lead to convictions.

Last weekend’s destructive rocket launch was a big fail for SpaceX – or was it? What explains radically mixed reviews of the Starship test launch.

Plus the harrowing account of a Texas hiker, lost in Big Bend Ranch State Park in triple-digit heat, and his near-miraculous survival.

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Lawmaker Gene Wu using Reddit to explain Texas Legislature

The clash between city leaders and state lawmakers is set to reach a new level at the Capitol. How state lawmakers are trying to crack down on policies by local prosecutors not to pursue certain cases.

A Texas researcher is pursuing a key to fight aging with the help of small monkeys.

We talk with Rep. Gene Wu, whose videos about how Texas politics actually works have blown up on social media.

In West Texas, concerns about growing tourism and the environmental impact spawn a plan to expand Big Bend National Park by purchasing adjacent land and giving it to the park.

Plus the legacy of San Antonio businessman B.J “Red” McCombs.

Big Bend National Park to add thousands of acres of parkland

Tridemic? One of the world leading virologists says its more like a Septademic. Dr. Peter Hotez joins us and talks about staying healthy during the holidays. Also as the humanitarian crisis on the border grows Governor Abbott is calling for an investigation of some of the non-profits helping migrants. We’ll explain. Plus, Google is making some changes that affect the results that show up in your searches including those shopping ads. Our go to tech expert Omar Gallaga takes us behind the curtains. And Big Bend National Park is about to get a little bigger with new areas to explore. All that and more today on the Texas Standard:

Yonderings

Texas Standard commentator W.F. Strong explores Texas for us — often through history and lore. But he also picks up new stories from Texas. And, occasionally, he recommends one.

Texas Standard: August 2, 2022

7 years in prison: a Texan gets the longest sentence handed down so far in the prosecution of January 6th riots at the capitol. We’ll have the latest. Other stories we’re tracking: a once in a decade rewrite of the state’s public school curriculum gets underway amid debates over how race and LGBTQ issues are addressed in the classroom. Also the planned demolition of Uvalde’s Robb Elementary school, and how the city plans to honor its namesake. Plus extreme heat and the disparate impact on communities in one of Texas’ largest cities. And the story of a Texas radio show that picked up where the progressive newspapers of the 60’s and 70’s left off. All that and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: July 20, 2022

Beto O’Rourke setting fundraising records and narrowing the gap in the polls. Does this portend a political turnaround in Texas? A pulse check on the Texas Governor’s race, as the democratic challenger appears to build momentum in his race against republican incumbent Governor Greg Abbott. Also as monkeypox spreads in Texas, how a shortage of vaccine and confusion over who’s at risk are complicating efforts to control the spread. And the heat, the drought and lots and lots of cattle going to market. We’ll hear how Texas ranchers are trying to get through was could be an historic moment for the industry. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: July 19, 2022

Outrage and demands for action as Uvalde’s school board meets with members of the community to hear concerns about school safety. Camille Phillips of Texas Public radio was at last nights school board meeting in Uvalde, we’ll hear details. Also the Texas Newsrooms Sergio Martínez-Beltrán talks with former Texas supreme Court justice Eva Guzman, one of the co-chairs of the Texas House panel which on Sunday released its report on the shooting. Also an unexpected botanical discovery in Big Bend. And why car repossession’s are up… Way up and what that could portend. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: June 10, 2022

What new revelations from a nationally broadcast congressional hearing on the January 6th capitol insurrection. We’ll have more on the primetime hearings and their potential impact. Also, the effect of child abuse investigations of Texas families providing gender affirming care to their trans kids. Now three more families suing the state. Lauren McGaughy of the Dallas Morning News with the latest. And the Texas Tribune gets an exclusive extended interview with the school police chief at the center of criticism over his handling of the Uvalde school shooting. We’ll hear some of the key takeaways. And record high housing prices, signs of a bubble? Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: April 29, 2022

As Willie celebrates birthday number 89, Texas cities contemplate decriminalization of something the singer’s known to be especially fond of. We’ll have the latest. Also the military’s hard line on COVID-19 vaccinations, and why some soldiers say it could make it harder for other religious accommodations. And with war in Ukraine and a push for alternatives to Russian oil, why are Texas pump jacks so silent? Texas Monthly’s Russell Gold reports they won’t be much longer. Also the push for big change at Big Bend to help deal with rising crowds. And the week that was in Texas Politics with the Texas Tribune and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: January 31, 2022

On this final day to register to vote in the primary, a new survey offers a sneak peek on who’s ahead in what races and why. A pandemic, a statewide power outage, a walkout at the capitol over voting restrictions. In 2022, how much is set to change in Texas politics? A new poll by the University of Houston Hobby School suggests less than some might imagine. We’ll hear more. Also, in a decision celebrated by environmentalists, rights to drill for oil in the gulf wiped out by a federal judge. We’ll hear about what could be long term ripple effects. And a growing problem for Texas pitmasters: where’s the wood? Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard :

Texas Standard: May 27, 2021

What an investigation shows about a “shock and awe” exercise that was meant to take place in El Paso on election day. We’ll learn more about the forces behind this exercise and about the reporter who uncovered it. Also, money is tight for the country, for the state, for families. And federal unemployment benefits will end for Texans in a matter of days. We’ll look at the implications. And as the climate changes, researchers learn from Houston and from some of its strategies. Plus Manufacturing is alive and well in Texas. We’ll take a quick look at the tech companies that are building here. And we’ll honor the men and women who have died in service to the country. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: May 3, 2021

Mayoral contests in San Antonio and Fort Worth, a public camping ban in Austin and much more on the May first ballot. We’ll have more on some closely watched ballot propositions including voter approval of an ordinance in Lubbock that would ban abortions in that city. A move that’s almost certain to face a legal challenge. Plus, the great American road trip: running on fumes by the summer? Why some fear there could be gasoline shortages at the pumps. And at one of Texas’ top vacation destinations, detour signs as firefighters battle flames in Big Bend. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: September 8, 2020

The governor’s plan for a DPS takeover of Austin Police, how would that work exactly? The politics of policing, it’s not just Austin in the spotlight: the Dallas police Chief facing calls for her removal after protests this summer over police brutality, we’ll have the latest. And back to school day for many statewide, many first time teachers and students eager to go bilingual. And the border wall on a pre-election day fast track, and fighting the scourge of mosquitoes with more mosquitoes? Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: June 24, 2020

The U.S. city on track to be the hardest hit by COVID-19? A dire warning from one of the nation’s top infectious disease experts. We need to proceed to red alert: so says Dr.Peter Hotez of Baylor College of Medicine who warns face masks may not be enough to prevent the Houston region from rivaling what we’re seeing now in Brazil. Also a downturn like no other: what job losses in the oil industry may tell us about the future of the Texas economy. Plus a broader forecast from Texas economist Angelos Angelou and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 14, 2020

A case of the novel coronavirus confirmed in San Antonio. Though the patient is quarantined, how do officials fight the spread of fear? We’ll explore. Other stories we’re tracking: is one of the most beloved and pristine corners of our state endangered by energy development? The conversation underway in Big Bend country. And the U.S. border patrol in the media spotlight. Are recent policies or the agency’s past more to blame? A new report suggests the latter. Plus the week that was in Texas politics and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 7, 2019

A new migrant caravan reaches the border with Texas and president Trump puts more boots on the ground, we’ll have the latest. Also, political strategies are adapting to a changing Texas. With all eyes on 2020, is the GOP scared? Or is recent rhetoric simply a plan to turn out the faithful? And from plastic to metal: the switch that could bring 3D printing into a whole new dimension. Also, the artist who consistently delivers billions of views on YouTube, you may remember Gasolina, Dura and Despacito. We’ll look at his formula for success and so much more on today’s Texas Standard:

Picturing Texas

Over the past decade I’ve seen more breathtakingly beautiful photographs of Texas than I saw in all the decades before, combined. This is thanks to social media where many photographers share their exquisite work online daily. I’ve made it a point to befriend these great visual artists so I can enjoy Texas in all its resplendent glory from mountain to sea, from high plains to the tropics. I will share with you the names of some of my favorites so that you can see Texas through their gifted eyes. Now this is just MY list, work I’ve come to know somewhat at random. Many of your favorites I will no doubt miss, but perhaps you can add mine to your list of favorites, and you can add yours to mine at the end of this commentary.

In no particular order, here we go.

Wyman Meinzer is the official State Photographer of Texas. He was given this honorary title by the 1997 Texas Legislature at the request of Governor George W. Bush. They wanted to recognize his extraordinary body of work that captures the varied landscapes of Texas and the people who work the land. I love his titles: Between Heaven and Texas, Windmill Tales, and Horses to Ride, Cattle to Cut – among the more than 20 books he has published.

They say he has “traveled to every corner of this great state… in search of the first and last rays of sunlight in its magnificent sweep across the Texas landscape.” Find him at www.wymanmeinzer.com

Jeff Lynch left his heart in West Texas. His photographs of the soft cotton clouds floating above the Davis Mountains on a summer’s day, or his pics of the shadows of those clouds roaming across the vast vistas of West Texas, will make you fall in love with that region just as he has.

See his work at Jeff Lynch Photography on Facebook and Instagram.

Carol M. Highsmith is what I call a photographic philanthropist. She has donated her entire body of U.S. photographs (including hundreds of Texas photos) to an online collection viewable anytime for free at the Library of Congress website. You can search her Texas Lyda Hill collection with simple words like “longhorns,” “cowboys,” or “Big Tex.” Her photographs are downloadable and royalty free. She is a visual documentarian. Her Texas work celebrates landscapes, cityscapes, small-town life, and the diverse cultures of the Lone Star State. Here is her web Library of Congress address:   https://www.loc.gov/collections/carol-m-highsmith/about-this-collection/

My favorite coastal photographer is John Martell. He says, “Texas is a photographer’s paradise.” Every day, it seems, from his base of operations in Rockport, he posts an awe-inspiring photo of a sunrise or sunset over Aransas bay. He says, “Texas is a rich treasure trove for nature lovers. As a photographer I want to capture the essence of these jewels. That always seems to be about the light, which translates into sunrises and sunsets.”

Find him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JohnMartellPhotography/

Tim McKenna is to me the consummate photographer of Big Bend. In fact, he was commissioned to provide all the photos for the 2018 Big Bend National Park calendar. He can make a cactus flower in the desert look as delicate as a Tyler rose. He puts you in the moment of being bathed in the pink hues of an Emory Peak sunrise or enjoying the soft grey light of the desert after a rain – so real, you’d swear you can smell the musky tones of the damp creosote bushes around you. His work assures you that the desert is a place of infinite life. When he was a young man he hunted with a rifle. Now, he hunts with a camera. You can find him here: https://www.facebook.com/tim.mckenna.31

Larry White loves trains and old cars and trucks and hill country wildflowers. His photographs of a freight train rumbling through ancient East Texas forests or old trucks sitting in forgotten fields will stir your heart in new ways. His photograph of white horses grazing silently at sunrise in a field of bluebonnets is one of his best. No one is better at photographing wildflowers than Larry White. I think he was born with a camera in his hand.

You can find his work at https://www.facebook.com/larrywhitephotography/

Also, www.larrywhitephoto.com

If the stately nature of the King of Beasts, or the grace and beauty of tigers peaks your interest, then David Pine’s work will inspire you. His aim is to depict the essence of an animal in a still shot. “Still photography,” he says, “is the art of capturing a fleeting moment that can express the gamut of emotions not otherwise seen. You want to capture the soul of a creature through its eyes.” Many of his photos come from zoos and rescue zoos in Texas.

https://www.facebook.com/DavidPinePhotography

George McLemore is an incredibly artistic photographer of life in Texas (Texana), but most importantly to me – he has been the visual chronicler of my social circles for several decades now. For most of his life, he has preserved on film and online, the social gatherings and special events for all who have been in his orbit, and he has done it mostly for free. Thirty  years ago we found his covert clicking unnecessary. But now, for many of us, we realize that we would have no record of that time if it weren’t for him. And we are grateful for the treasures he shares with us often from his labyrinth of negatives and digital files. To all the McLemores of the world, I raise my Shiner Bock to them – those visionary souls who recognized the Kodak moments of our lives that we seemed blind to. www.mclemorephotography.com